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State Department: Serbia-Montenegro - Travel Warning, October 17, 1998

Serbia-Montenegro - Travel Warning
October 17, 1998

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against travel to Serbia-Montenegro and urges U.S. citizens in Serbia-Montenegro to depart the country. Due to the failure of Belgrade authorities to comply with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1199 and the ongoing violence perpetrated by security forces against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) are prepared to take military action and issued an Activation Order to that effect on October 13. Implementation of the Activation Order has been held in abeyance by NATO, to give the Serbia-Montenegro government an opportunity to demonstrate appropriate and adequate forward movement regarding compliance with UNSCR 1199. While the government of Serbia-Montenegro has given assurances no retaliatory actions would be taken against U.S citizens, given recent history in the region, the possibility exists for spontaneous reactions against U.S. citizens.

On October 15, the Department of State terminated ordered departure status of Embassy Belgrade and Kosovo Diplomatic Observer Mission personnel so that they can return to post to provide services necessary to develop and verify the agreements reached between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia-Montenegro) and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and NATO. Dependents of Embassy personnel are not being allowed to return at this time.

Both the police and Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) are active in the region and each operates numerous checkpoints throughout Kosovo. There have been incidents at both kinds of checkpoints in which guards have fired at vehicles whose occupants did not obey their commands. Due to the potential for violence, the authority of the individuals operating these checkpoints should not be challenged.

No. 98-055

This supersedes the Travel Warning for Serbia-Montenegro dated October 11, 1998 to note the return of non-emergency personnel to U.S. Embassy Belgrade.

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